Shaabi and Balady
Guest blogger: DaVid
Balady - the dance of the country side/people - Folk music (balady music), folkloric dance. Really grounded smooth undulating large movements. Mostly flat footed. Typical characteristics is that the music (and the intensity of the movements) start really slow and introvert and slowly build up. As if the music and the dancer is shy at first and then lets go little by little. Usually ends with a creshendo of shimmies and faster music.
Dancer Example: Lucy (of Cairo), Fifi Abdou
Music: instrumental folk music, folk songs. Mawwaal intro not uncommon.
Shaabi- of the people - folk music or pop music (Shaabi music) and Shaabi dance movements. Characteristics are the heel bounce and upbeat tempo. Flatfooted or on the balls of your feet depending on what style of Shaabi you are performing. Common for all styles of Shaabi is that they all have strong influences of folkloric dance in them. Be it Countryside Shaabi (more Balady influence), Urban Shaabi (a meet between Countryside Shaabi and the dance style of Mohammed Ali Street) or Raqs Shaabi (the more theatrical/stage adapted version). Shaabi can also be layered on top of other styles such as Melaya Leff, Sharki, Saiidi, etc.
Example of dancer: Fifi Abdou Music: Mohamed Adawayya, Hakim
Balady VS Shaabi: Balady is more fluid, controlled and earthier as well as having no heel bouncing characteristics, further it has no flirtatious strikes whatsoever. Shaabi is bouncy, often fast paced, has a characteristic continous chest pop (up) going on as well as having a flirty extrovert attitude.
Raqs Sharki - Classical Egyptian style for stage use. Usually performed to Instrumental pieces and Oum Kolthoum's. Also depends on the dancer's personal style. Some perform the Sharki version of the dance to all types of music by adding only some of the characterstics of other styles (to show awareness of the presence of the style in the music). Mostly performed on the balls of your feet. This style is concidered to be the highest refined version of Egyptian style dance.
Dancer: Sohair Zaki, Dina, Lucy, Samia Gamaal, Tahia Cariocca, Nagwa Fouad.